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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Kidder family come from? What is the English Kidder family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kidder family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kidder family history?

The name Kidder is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the Dutch personal name Kygeir which meant people's spear. The surname Kidder was adopted in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Kidder has undergone many spelling variations, including Kidder and others.

First found in Sussex where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kidder research. Another 145 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1691, 1633, 1703, 1703 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Kidder History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 65 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kidder Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Kidder family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kidder were among those contributors:

Kidder Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Kidder, who settled in Boston in 1633
  • James Kidder settled in Cambridge in 1633
  • James Kidder, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1649
  • Thaddeus Kidder, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1672

Kidder Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Benjamin Kidder settled in Baltimore in 1775

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  • Alfred Vincent Kidder (1885-1963), American archaeologist, received Ph.D from Harvard University
  • Jefferson Parish Kidder (1815-1883), American lawyer and jurist
  • John Tracy Kidder (b. 1945), American author and Vietnam veteran awarded the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • Margaret Ruth "Margot" Kidder (b. 1948), Canadian actress best known for her role as Lois Lane in the 1978 film Superman: The Movie and its sequels


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  • The Shepard Genealogy by Lowell Shepard Blaisdell.
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  1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Kidder Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kidder Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 6 April 2014 at 16:47.

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